Being pregnant is beautiful but can also be uncomfortable or painful for many women. Prenatal massages can provide moms with physical and mental relief and have numerous benefits for the baby.
In this article, we’ll share more about how prenatal massages work and the benefits of these specialized massages for the mom and baby.
What is prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage is to help with blood flow to the uterus, placenta, and fetus. It also helps promote the flow of oxygen and nutrients from the mom to the baby.
Mom’s body goes through many physical changes as she grows a baby in her body. Regular massages can help keep your body as healthy and aligned as possible, so she can create the most space for her baby to grow and be born healthy.
A special prenatal massage, called labour massage, can also help when you have begun labour. Your midwife or a massage therapist (or your partner who has learned the techniques) will massage your back and legs. These techniques help reduce labour pains and shorten labour duration in many patients.
Is prenatal massage safe for the baby?
Yes, but your massage is done differently than you may be used to with other types of massage. With a traditional massage, you’re often lying on your back or stomach. Both these positions put too much pressure on your body, including potentially disrupting blood flow to your baby or making you nauseous. In a prenatal massage, you’re usually on your side or upright. Often a practitioner may have specially designed cushions for the massage bed to help you lay comfortably.
What are the benefits of prenatal massage for your baby?
Prenatal massage has many benefits for both mom and the baby. These include:
Regular massages can help ensure mom’s blood flow is optimized, so the baby is not deprived of essential blood. Increased blood flow will also help the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby and accelerate the removal of waste products for both mom and baby. This will encourage good tissue health for both.
Pregnancy puts significant extra weight on a mom’s body in a relatively short amount of time, and this can cause swelling, especially in the ankles and legs. This swelling is caused by poor circulation and your body struggling to rid of waste.
The swelling is pooling blood and body fluids. Usually, it occurs in the second or third trimester when you’ve gained significantly more weight than your body is used to. While some women are just predisposed to more swelling than others, regular prenatal massages can help minimize its effects by promoting circulation and clearing any blockages preventing waste from leaving the body.
Supports flexible joints and muscles
With regular prenatal massages, the baby will develop stronger, more flexible joints and muscles to get them for labour. This will help prepare babies for potential complications as their bodies are stronger and more flexible for their journey into our world.
Pregnancy can be busy, stressful, or uncertain for many women. A prenatal massage can help them relax and reconnect with themselves and their baby. Massages help calm the mind and body as they reduce cortisone (the stress hormone) in our body while releasing endorphins (the “feel good” hormone). We also know that babies can sense their mother’s emotional state, so a calm mom equals a calm baby.
Better sleep quality
All the well-meaning on-lookers like to say, “sleep now because when the baby comes, you’ll never sleep again.” This may be an mind exaggeration, but the truth is that good quality sleep is still vital when you’re pregnant. Rushing hormones, body aches, and difficulties finding a comfortable sleeping position as your belly grows cause insomnia for many women.
Regular prenatal massages can help increase your serotonin levels, which helps you get a better night’s sleep. The relaxed state you’re in after a massage can also aid in getting the best sleep quality you can.
Supports a healthier labour
When the woman’s body is healthier and in proper alignment, it helps reduce the chances of some labour complications. This can be supported through regular prenatal massages throughout pregnancy and other complementary therapies like Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chiropractic.
Minimize risks of early labour
A baby is literally and emotionally very close to its mother, in-utero. A stressed mom may inadvertently signal to the baby that it’s time to be born when it’s still early and the baby is not fully developed yet. Reducing a mom’s sadness or anxiety can lead to a higher chance of a healthy, full-term baby.
Prenatal massages can give both mom and baby a boost of much-needed energy. The physical and emotional rigours of carrying a child can be a lot on the mom’s body, so an energy boost can help give her a pick-me-up to keep moving forward.
It’s also a great way to encourage a baby to move in-utero. When you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy, your doctor will likely ask you to track baby kicks. If you haven’t noticed a kick recently, a prenatal massage can gently wake them up, so they start moving around again.
Some women feel a spiritual connection to their baby during a prenatal massage. If you learn a few prenatal massage techniques to perform on your own or for your partner to do, you can use them to connect with your baby, so they feel your love.
When can you start prenatal massages?
Massages are safe during most healthy pregnancies at any stage. If you’re already a regular at your RMT’s office, let them know when you get pregnant so that they can adjust their techniques accordingly. Early in your pregnancy, you may still be able to receive your massages while laying on your stomach. It’s also safe to begin having massages during any trimester.
Generally, prenatal massages may not be recommended for women with high-risk pregnancies, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, or diabetes. If you’re unsure, come for a consultation, and we can discuss your health and needs.
If you’d like to book a prenatal massage, see our availabilities and book your massage at oceanamassage.janeapp.com